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Community helps step up to diabetes

By BY J.R. ORTEGA - JRORTEGA@VICAD.COM
Sept. 13, 2011 at 4:13 a.m.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes

WHEN: Saturday. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.; walk begins at 9 a.m.

WHERE: Ricebird Stadium, 600 W. Norris St., El Campo

COST: Free but donations are encouraged

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Elisa Garcia at 979-332-2357 or Elena Pullin at 979-332-2358 or epullin@ecmh.org.

EL CAMPO - Raphela Garcia fights long and hard everyday just to manage her diabetes.

The El Campo resident has fought her way back from a stroke and has lived with diabetes complications for the last 20 years.

On Saturday, she will have another chance to fight back.

Garcia and her two daughters, along with several other Wharton County diabetes advocates, will host a Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes event to raise money and educate the community on how common and prevalent diabetes is in their communities.

This is the first diabetes walk hosted in the county.

"I'm very excited," Garcia said. "I want people to become more knowledgeable."

Diabetes has run its course through the Garcia family. Garcia's husband died from diabetes complications. Then one of her daughters fought gestational diabetes.

Garcia said she does not want her only grandson to live the life she has been forced to live.

She wants him to have access to better medications if he does develop diabetes because it runs in the family.

But Garcia's determination does not stop with her. Her daughters Elisa Garcia and Elena Pullin have also become advocates of diabetes awareness.

Elisa Garcia graduated in early 2011 with a bachelor's in business administration with concentration in health care administration. She has decided to take a year off, but hopes to work helping people with diabetes.

"I'm very passionate about this," Garcia's daughter said. "This disease has no prejudice."

Garcia's daughter spoke with the Houston chapter of the American Diabetes Association to get the event started.

In addition to the walk, the event will also feature a health clinic, where free glucose readings will be given; a kid's zone and a raffle.

"When you see it go through your family, something needs to be done," Garcia's daughter said. "By doing this walk, you're telling those suffering with diabetes that you support them."

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